Pros and cons of a keto diet

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 21 May 2019

The latest trend in the weight loss and dieting space is the Ketogenic diet. So why is this diet so popular right now and why is there as much negative information as there is positive?

The ketogenic diet is one where you shift your metabolism into a state of ketosis.

When in ketosis your body will burn fatty acids for fuel instead of sugars. And all of those fatty acids are stored in your fat cells. So more burning = more weight loss. This is often confused with ketoacidosis which is a biochemical state that can be very dangerous.

So what could be some of the benefits of a keto diet and some of the cautions to be aware of to determine if this type of diet is right for you?

  1. It is very effective tool for weight loss - the most important strategy for weight loss is to reduce the amount of insulin you are making as insulin is our fat-storage hormone. Following a keto diet is the easiest and quickest way to do this.
  2. Research shows that a keto diet can be beneficial for cancer prevention and cancer treatment - According to authors of a journal article published in Aging (Albany NY). 2018 Feb; 10(2): 164–16, Ketogenic diet in cancer therapy the following conclusion was made -"Based on the results of rigorous preclinical and clinical studies performed thus far, the Ketogenic Diet would appear to be a promising and powerful option for adjuvant therapy for a range of cancers. Cancer-specific recommendations await the findings of randomized controlled clinical trials."
  3. Ketosis can be neuroprotective in the short term by improving mitochondrial function.
  4. You could be at risk for a lower fiber and nutrient intake over time. Because you are avoiding any grains, higher carbohydrate vegetables, and fruits in order to remain in ketosis, your intake of fibre and micronutrients can become deficient. To avoid this you need to make sure you are eating lots of leafy greens or non-starchy vegetables.
  5. A high saturated diet intake is not for everyone. Some patients cannot metabolize higher amounts of saturated fat and it will increase their risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Markers like C-reactive protein, triglycerides, and other lipoproteins if measured before and after an eight week trial can give you an idea if this is a problem for you.
  6. A high dairy intake will be inflammatory for many people. In order to increase the amount of fat and reduce the amount of carbohydrate to get into ketosis many people will rely on dairy as an easy, keto-friendly choice. Unfortunately dairy products can cause significant inflammation for many people. Over time many patients will not get the same energy, weight loss, or anti-inflammatory benefits they experienced initially on a keto diet.
Ketosis and different types of cancers

If you are aware of these basic pros and cons before starting a ketogenic diet you could get a lot of the benefits while avoiding some of the pitfalls.

I also know that finding recipes to help ensure you stay in ketosis while still being nutrient and fibre dense can be super time- consuming. Many patients will fail without a plan or examples, and every failure hurts your ability to choose healthy food.

That's why I am super excited to announce my ketogenic meal plan. I have created this done-for-you practical plan that hits the right numbers so you can focus less on your calculator and more on succeeding in the kitchen.

My Ketogenic Food plan includes:

-Seven whole days of healthy meals and snacks
-Whole food recipes that are simple, delicious, and dairy-free
-An easy-to-follow meal-prep layout
-A step-by-step prep guide to keep organized in the kitchen

You can purchase it by calling the office and speaking with reception.

For other reliable information on the keto diet check out these two books:

  1. The Obesity Code - Dr. Jason Fung
  2. Ketotarian - Will Cole

Now I would love to hear from you! Have you ever thought about trying the keto diet? Why or why not? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

7 Replies to “Pros and cons of a keto diet”


Great advice! My husband & I have been following the Keto “diet” for 4 months now. He’s lost 25lbs and I’ve lost 14. For myself, I believe most of loss was due to inflammation; I’m less “puffy” and my joints are feeling great! Always looking for new and easy recipes so I will definitely be calling QNC. Thank you for the support you provide when navigating through a new and healthy lifestyle!


Yes, the Keto way of life has been successful for me, however you are right with #4 above. It can be difficult getting in the fibre and nutrients that is required for total health, which is the part that I have struggled with. The information above is great and quite relevant for my situation.

So I think it’s great that you are creating a Ketogenic Meal plan that includes the proper fibre and nutrients along with it. Wonderful idea that will help many. Thanks Michelle!

Tamar Mills

Keto is higher fats. Can this negatively effect the heart and Cholesterol levels?

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Shelley!

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome Lynn! Thanks for commenting.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Yes, Tamar depending on your genetics it could be a problem. This can be checked with a simple blood test after you have been eating keto for about 3 weeks.

Julie Rickard

Is the meal plan still available for purchase, Dr. Durkin? I would like to give it a try as several people I know have had great success with it.

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